What Happened to Engagement? This Is What Gamification Can Do For You

You notice that Carl has changed over the last few months. When his team would land a new assignment from a client, he’d be the first to high five his colleagues and jump into the project with passion. During his reviews, he would ask questions to understand what he needed to learn and find ways to improve his performance.

Now, Carl sits quietly at his computer. He completes his work, then waits for a supervisor to assign him another task, which he takes on reluctantly. His reviews usually consist of him sitting with his arms crossed, and he never follows up or asks questions.

Carl is one of the many who have checked out at work -- Gallup’s January 2017 poll found that 65 percent of employees feel disengaged at work. What’s worse is that this toxicity is contagious in the office. When you have a team of clock punchers who drag themselves through the day, the team is ineffective, and the company is doomed.

This is a main reason why companies are investing in gamification. Let’s take a look at how you can use gamification to make a positive impact in your employees’ lives:

Improve Job Satisfaction

Work needs to be fun. When your employees are engaged and enjoying themselves, their stress decreases, and they become more productive.

The 2015 Staples Advantage report found that not only did 69 percent of the staff say that working long hours decreases productivity, but 64 percent said that adequate breaks increase productivity.

Encourage people to take breaks, and build a process to help facilitate a fun work environment. This can be as complicated as installing a mini arcade in a break area or as simple as hosting happy hour Fridays, where employees can enjoy a drink after lunch.

Ideally, you want your team to interact and loosen their ties a bit on these breaks. That’s why so many companies provide ping pong tables and basketball hoops.

Host tournaments and update your staff by distributing information through email, newsletters, or create a bracket that is visible for your team. It will be stimulating, engaging, and become a part of your company culture.

Get People Healthy

Consider implementing an employee wellness program, a popular request from many workers. A 2015 survey published by Quantum Workplace and Limeade found that 49.8 percent of employees want time for healthy activities at work.

An employee wellness program should consist of interactive competitions utilizing wearable fitness technology that tracks heart rate, counts steps, and records other health metrics. Apps like Keas help each team member track their health progress, share their accomplishments, participate in new challenges, and earn rewards to influence positive behavior.

You’re empowering employees to connect and create a comfortable social space where employees can support one another in learning healthy new habits. Online leaderboards will help keep everyone on track, creating an environment that welcomes participation.

Hire More Quality

The war for talent is intensifying as more educated millennials enter the job market. A 2015 ManpowerGroup Study found that 34 percent of the 41,700 employers surveyed say a lack of applicants is their biggest reason for struggling to fill jobs.

Your most important tool is an employee referral program. Implement social gaming to get people more motivated. You can’t just set it and forget it. These kinds of programs require consistent retooling and an investment in creating a social element.

Social features should enable activities such as commenting, sharing, sending messages, and connecting with others. When these strategies are incorporated into your employee referral program, it simplifies engagement and encourages each employee to contribute and be a part of the overall effort of recruiting for the business.

Similar to a wellness program, utilize gamification by measuring metrics and creating a leaderboard. Offer incentives and rewards to motivate the staff and influence their behavior in a way that improves recruiting processes.

How do you plan on using gamification in your company?

Kes Thygesen is the co-founder and head of product at RolePoint, a company focused on employee referrals, internal talent mobility, and creating seamless ATS connectivity. Connect with him and RolePoint on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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